5 Surprising Signs Of Bipolar Disorder

Physical signs and symptoms are common in most medical conditions. However, if you are suffering with an emotional disorder that affects your mental health, you may not display visible signs. Most people associate bipolar disorder with depression, but individuals with this condition are affected in other surprising ways. Considering 5.7 million Americans live with bipolar disorder, understanding the signs and symptoms of this condition is smart to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment. With this guide on the surprising signs of bipolar disorder, you will learn if your loved one is suffering with this common condition.

Reckless Behavior

If a friend or family member is behaving recklessly, you may think it is just a phase. In reality, this new reckless behavior is most likely a sign of bipolar disorder.

Bipolar individuals believe they are larger than life, so they do not believe they have consequences for this reckless behavior.

Reckless behavior may include spending money in an excessive manner, participating in dangerous activities, and participating in sexual acts without much thought. If a loved one books a lavish trip or makes a large purchase that places them in enormous debt, they may have bipolar disorder. In addition, if your loved one has increased their sex drive tremendously, this may be a sign of bipolar disorder.

Drug/Alcohol Abuse

Recent studies have shown an estimated 56 percent of bipolar patients have an addiction to drugs or alcohol.

The relationship between bipolar disorder and addiction is actually easy to understand. In most cases,  patients will utilize drugs or alcohol to numb their emotional distress, which may include panic attacks, mania, and depression.

This form of self-medication offers short-term benefits for some. For others with bipolar disorder, the use of drugs or alcohol will only increase symptoms. This increase in emotional distress could lead to suicide.


Bipolar disorder causes a patient to a mixture of emotions, which can change rapidly. Patients may experience severe depression one minute and extreme euphoria the next minute, so watching a loved one live with the condition can be difficult.

While surprising for many people to learn, hypomania is also a common sign associated with bipolar disorder. Hypomania gives a person a high-energy feeling without reducing their grasp on reality. During hypomania, the patient may have an elevated, energetic, and creative mood. Unfortunately, this feeling does not last, causing the patient to head down into a deeper state of depression.

Rapid, Pressured Speech

Rapid speech is a common trait of many people. However, if your loved one seems to remain in a one-way conservation with you, they may have bipolar disorder.

Rapid, pressured speech is talking continuously, jumping from different topics, without taking any breaks. If another person in the discussion tries to speak, the patient with bipolar disorder will only speak over the other person.

It is important to note that some people are naturally talkative. If your loved one has recently developed a rapid, pressured speech, it may be smart to consult a doctor.

Sleeping Difficulties

Depression causes patients to sleep excessively. Mania causes patients to have high levels of energy, reducing their want or need to sleep. Since bipolar depression causes states of both depression and mania, patients will either sleep too much or have a decreased ability to sleep.

Treatment Options

If your loved one is displaying one or more of the above signs, consider consulting a psychiatrist immediately. After a medical evaluation, doctors may prescribe mood stabilizers, antipsychotic, and antidepressants to treat the bipolar disorder.

Psychotherapy is also an effective option used alongside medications. Therapy will help your loved one learn the stages of bipolar disorder and different coping options for their ever-changing emotions.

Bipolar disorder is a serious condition that causes more than just a state of depression. With this guide and the help of a doctor, you can understand and treat your loved one's disorder.